Bronze 2021 / People / Portrait

Desert Dweller

  • Prizes
    Silver in Editorial/Photo Essay, Bronze in People/Portrait
  • Photographer
    Daniel Skwarna

Desert Dweller is an analog long-form personal documentary project that explores the squatter community of Slab City - an off grid bunch of felons, artists, veterans, and impoverished Americans living on the remains of a WWII marine base in the Sonoran Desert, California. Slabbers are a motley crew. The year-round population is modest. Roughy fifty stay through July and August when temperatures are mercurial and even rattlesnakes seek the shade of campers. Their ability to endure inhuman conditions year after year is matched only by a shared distaste for the gridded boiler-plate of life.

Daniel Skwarna is a Toronto-based documentary and editorial photographer. He has worked in the United States, Iceland, England, Scotland, Ireland, Cuba, Israel and the West Bank, Turkey, Greece, France, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Estonia,Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Serbia Croatia, Bosnia & Hercegovina, Kosovo,Slovakia, Sarajevo, Poland, and Russia. He is currently pursuing personal projects in the Southwestern United States.